The University of Portland has announced a grant of $250,000 from The Clark Foundation for the renovation of the Clark Library. The library renovation and rebuilding project began in May 2012 and is expected to cost an estimated $12.5 million. Designs call for a new, modern library on the basic root structure of the old. The library is closed during the 2012-'13 academic year, reopening in August 2013. Library services are being offered during the interim year in another building.

Parts of the renovated library will be open around the clock and will have new movable seating and computers.   

The Clark family is at the cornerstone of supporters of the project. Between 1929 and 1958, the library was located in the basement of Christie Hall. In 1958, Maurie Clark, Portland businessman and philanthropist, paid for the university to construct a new library building on the same location it occupies today, and named it for his father, Wilson W. Clark. A few years later, Maurie joined the University’s Board of Regents, where he served for 35 years as a friend and counselor to five University presidents. He also chaired the board’s Finance Committee for more than 20 years.

In 1979, when the library again outgrew its ability to serve the burgeoning numbers of University students, Maurie stepped in and provided the necessary funding to double the building’s previous size, to a total 46,000 square feet. When Maurie died in 2001, he again gave to the university’s library – more than $2.7 million from his estate.